Sales Margin: Definition, Formula, Calculation, Example, Accounting

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Gross profit represents a company’s earnings from its products and services before considering operating and other expenses. It comes after subtracting a company’s cost of goods sold from its revenues. However, it does not provide insights into a company’s profitability. Therefore, some stakeholders may prefer sales margin as a better metric.

What is the Sales Margin?

Sales margin is a critical financial metric used to assess the profitability of a company’s sales revenue. It represents the percentage of earnings that remains as gross profit after deducting the direct costs associated with producing or acquiring the goods or services sold. This metric is essential for businesses as it provides insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of their core business activities in generating profit from sales.

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A higher sales margin percentage indicates better profitability, as more profit gets retained from each sales dollar. Comparing sales margins over time or against industry benchmarks helps businesses evaluate their financial performance, pricing strategies, cost management efforts, and overall profitability. Sales margin is a critical tool for decision-making and financial analysis, enabling companies to make informed decisions about pricing, production, sales strategies, and resource allocation.

How to Calculate Sales Margin?

Companies must follow various steps to calculate sales margins. It starts by identifying the total revenue generated from sales during a specific period. It consists of all sales of goods or services. Next, companies calculate the cost of goods sold, which includes all direct costs associated with producing or acquiring the goods or services sold. It typically includes costs, such as raw materials, labour, and manufacturing expenses.

Once companies calculate the COGS, they must subtract the COGS from the total revenue to find the gross profit. It represents the profit generated from sales before deducting other expenses such as operating expenses, taxes, and interest. Finally, they divide the gross profit by the total revenue and multiply by 100 to express the sales margin as a percentage.

What is the formula for Sales Margin?

The formula for sales margin is straight and as below.

Sales margin=[(Revenue – Cost of goods sold) / Revenue]×100

The above formula provides a percentage of the sales margin or gross profit a company generates from its products or services. The resulting sales margin figure indicates the profitability of sales after considering the direct costs of production or acquisition. As mentioned above, A higher sales margin percentage signifies better profitability.

On the other hand, a lower percentage may indicate higher production costs relative to revenue. Comparing sales margins over time or against industry benchmarks helps businesses assess their financial performance and make informed decisions about pricing, cost management, and overall profitability.

Example

Blue Co. is a manufacturing company that produces microchips. The company had total revenues of $500,000 last year. The cost of goods sold the company reported on its income statement for the period was $300,000. Based on the above figures, the sales margin for Blue Co. is as follows.

Sales margin = [(Revenue – Cost of goods sold) / Revenue] × 100

Sales margin = [($500,000-$300,000) / $500,000] × 100

Sales margin = 40%

While the sales margin is high, it is crucial to view it comparatively to analyze it better.

Conclusion

Sales margin measures a company’s gross profits against its revenues. In other terms, it shows the percentage of profits a company makes from its products before considering operating and other expenses. The sales profit margin formula is also straightforward. The components for the calculation come from the income statement alone.

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